Greetings, home and pro haunters!

We're always available by phone - usually a quicker method of reaching us than e-mail. I love to talk shop, so feel free to ring. If I'm not home, I'll call back as soon as possible. (Leave your number on the answering machine slowly and clearly - and be sure to repeat it once.)

-Doug Ferguson (817) 361-0024

About This Site If you love to decorate your home for Halloween, or are involved in an annual haunted attraction, welcome aboard! If you are a dark ride enthusiast, or simply have an interest in live special effects, you are in the right place. Here, you'll find lots of helpful ideas and advice to get you started in advanced Halloween seasonal decoration or haunted attraction imagineering.

12/19/06 We're quitting our business operation for reeasons fiscal, logistical, and personal. The decision is a final one. The site will remain in operation indefinitely as a free service, as it has been in the past. We intend to keep updating it, but we can't say how often at present.

2/27/06 - After spending 2 years remodeling a house inherited from my mother, Hurricane Katrina flooded and wrecked it. As my wife's job evaporated due to the disaster, we decided to move to Ft. Worth, Texas and regroup. (We lost a lot of furniture and expensive electronics - close to $60,000 in equity when all was done.) Our expenses rose sharply, along with our prices, and some of our parts became more difficult to find. This made everything more difficult for both our customers and ourselves.

Q: Is the Flying Crank Ghost patented?

A: No. It was made public domain in 1997. The reasons I did not patent it:

It would have been very expensive to do so, not to mention time-consuming. Also, there is a very definite possibility that it might not be patentable, due to the universality of crank-driven devices.

Yes, we know we've been copied, and we don't care. That's a complement to us, anyway, ;-)

Q: Can I use a heavy ghost on the FCG platform?

A: Yes, using a counterweight. But read our article on the FCG here to understand the effect fully. Remember, the idea is to create a realistic ghost effect, with an almost etherial look. Our version of the marionette really does look more ghostly, both because of the monotextural surface and the flowing movement of the light, flexible cheesecloth. This version really does stop cars in front of homes - and we hear that a lot from our kit builders. We don't see a lot of heavy, elaborate marionettes that look ghostly while flying.

Q: How did all this start?

Back in 1997 I was posting to a usenet Halloween group. I put the plans for a very simple FCG motor platform out for the public, and these are still floating around (pun intended.) There was so much activity about this effect that I started the site as a place to give away knowledge I had about Halloween imagineering to home and professional haunters.

Q: Wasn't there supposed to be a book?

A: You're reading it. The site is now the book, and I will be revising and adding chapters as I have the time. Eventually it will be a full textbook on basic seasonal imagineering. Yes, that means we will eventually be talking about Christmas displays and other such things. And yes, I hope to offer general purpose display animarion kits eventually.

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